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If Plants Won’t Grow Near WiFi Routers, What are WiFi Routers Doing to Us?

plants wifi An alarming science experiment recently generated a great deal of international media attention, and has raised a number of questions and concerns. In this experiment, the researchers found that seeds planted near WiFi routers would not grow. All the attention and interest surrounding this experiment may lead one to believe it was a major study by a renowned organization, but surprisingly, the researchers in this experiment were a group of Danish ninth-grade students and their teacher.

The Experiment

The concept for the experiment originated after five girls from Hjallerup Skole, a school in Denmark, noticed that they had trouble focusing on days after they slept with their cell phones near their heads overnight.  In an effort to evaluate this phenomenon, they tested the effects that two WiFi routers had on plant seeds.  The routers were chosen with the intention to roughly mimic the levels and types of radiation given off by the girls’ cell phones.  To test this effect against a control group, six trays of seeds were placed next to the two routers, and another six trays were placed in a room without any routers.  At the end of their twelve day experiment, the seeds in the room without routers had grown into healthy plants, but the seeds near the routers had not grown at all, and several seeds appeared brown and withered.


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There is much debate about the value of the study.  The fact that it was performed by students, and not scientists in a well-controlled environment, clearly warrants caution and fuels criticism.  Some scientists have speculated that the heat from the routers may have dried out the seeds, but the girls reportedly kept the seeds’ soil moist throughout the experiment, and regulated the room temperature with a thermostat.  Other researchers have gone as far as to state that the girls’ experiment may be representative of the dangers that cell phones, WiFi routers, and similar sources of radiation may have on human health.  Much more research is required to formulate any valid conclusions, but the experiment has raised legitimate concerns, and the results warrant further scientific exploration.

Limit Your Exposure

Given the uncertainty of the effects of such radiation, and the prevalence and necessity of cell phones and WiFi routers, it is difficult to entirely remove oneself from this potential risk.  Nevertheless, precautionary steps can be taken to protect yourself and limit your level of exposure.  Actions such as keeping cell phones away from your head at night, and generally limiting your cell phone usage may be helpful.  Likewise, carefully considering the placement of WiFi routers, and ideally keeping them at a reasonable distance, may accomplish this goal.  While the effects of radiation from these everyday items remain unclear, taking simple precautions can help to reduce your exposure and risk.


Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.


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